Tue, Oct 22 | Columbus Hall

Gold Rush Medicine

Explore the experiences of immigrants traveling to California for the Gold Rush who were subjected to devastating diseases at a time when the most advanced medical treatment consisted of bleeding, cupping, and the use of mercury and arsenic.
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Gold Rush Medicine

Time & Location

Oct 22, 2019, 7:00 PM
Columbus Hall, 5961 Newman Ct, Sacramento, CA 95819, USA

About The Event

Join us on Tuesday, October 22nd, as Dr. Bob LaPerriere, curator of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Museum of Medical History in Sacramento, presents Gold Rush Medicine.

The Gold Rush sparked one of the largest migrations of people in the history of the world. Many of those gold seekers brought more than a lust for gold, they also carried deadly diseases such as cholera, small pox, typhoid and malaria. Those diseases were barely understood, and the doctors of the time were poorly equipped to deal with epidemics. Often they turned to drugs and treatments that would shock us today, consisting of bleeding, cupping, puking, purging, and the use of mercury and arsenic. 

Dr. Bob LaPerriere tells the story of the tragedies that took thousands of lives, and the heroism of the doctors who gave their lives to save Sacramento and California. He will explore these experiences using quotes from diaries of the time to illustrate and bring the past alive.

About Dr. Bob LaPerriere: 

I am a “transplant” from the Midwest, having been born in Michigan and lived in Chicago and the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. I graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1966 and subsequently came to California to intern. I did my dermatology residency at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and was a dermatologist with the Permanente (Kaiser) Medical Group from 1972 until my retirement in 1998. 

I have been involved in Sacramento Area history for over 30 years.  I started a committee to restore our Historic City Cemetery over 30 years ago, and currently chair or co-chair several historical groups, and am on the board of numerous other organizations, and director emeritus of the Old City Cemetery Committee and the Sacramento County Historical Society (Over 30 years in both). I also started and chair a consortium of over 30 historical organizations covering 6 counties and am a board member of the Sacramento History Alliance. I curate the Museum of Medical History of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, which opened in November of 2001 and doubled in size in 2018.


Members Free Admission  - Guests $10 Admission Fee

Doors open at 6pm. Program begins at 7pm.

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